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Participant Pep Talk from Emma G.

Hello Writers,

I am not different than anyone else here. I am not smarter than most people. In fact, I am kind of strange. Yet one thing is similar: like all of you, I am a writer. Like all of you, I repeat the plot of my trilogy too often. Like all of you, I have trouble writing sometimes. 

However, through it all, I enjoy the process. That is what matters. Your story matters. It will change the world in its own special way. Do not care about how different your novel is from anyone else’s. This difference is what makes writing worth it. So just go ahead. Jump into the sea of ideas and worlds that surround you.

And if you get stuck, realize that it is not easy to write every day. Your characters, your places, even your plot will seem useless at times. There are often days where writing is hard to even plan. Sitting down to write a novel is a battle in itself. Even the best authors have writer's block. Yet there are three ways to change your mind about writing a book.

1. Develop your world. This is easier said than done, as it takes years to complete. First, make a map of the area in your novel, adding every single detail worth mentioning. Next, name your land and make a language. History and mythology of your world add color and light. This is not just for this novel. A world contains wildly different places. Use that. Whether your novel’s world contains evil unicorns making deals with witches, pirates disguised as ‘normal’ people, or a castle full of royal fish, it has diversity.

2. Play outside. Make up an imaginative game where you are the main character in your novel. Play a scene or make up a future one. When you race back inside, you will find ideas filling your head to the brim. This may also cause the side effect  of realizing that your novel is empty of dialogue. Now is your chance to add it!

3. Develop your characters in other ways. Draw them as they appear in your novel. Plan a complicated backstory for them. Fill out a strange genealogy. Know that your characters have a whole life ahead, or behind them. Even the most minor characters deserve their own stories. They have lives as well.

Just write. Open up creative doors. In your world, anything can happen. 

I write for Rathy, my English Budgie, who, for five months, fought for his life every single day. I write for Piper, the cockatiel who has been like a flame inside of a cave for me. When I write, I know I can do anything. This is only the beginning.

photo of Anna C.

Emma, known by her pen name Swoop Soar, is a twelve-year-old bird lover who writes about tales of war, bloodshed, and hope in her trilogy, The Crew’s Adventures. She hopes to publish the first book in her trilogy as her first published novel. She enjoys drawing, reading, singing, and playing with her pet cockatiel, Piper Ashley. Currently, she is working on a short story for a writing contest, the second book in her trilogy, and co-writing a book, Silver by Moonlight, with her best friend Athena Connors (her pen name).

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